Friday, November 23, 2018

Our Fun Outing with Paint Nite

My daughter Alicia and I went to my first ever Paint Nite and we made winter nighttime scenes.

 Paint Night is a company that has artists lead painting classes in places like clubs or bars and it has quite a party atmosphere. Everyone makes the same painting in a step by step fashion, following the facilitator. We left booking it to the last minute so we only had a couple of choices of painting events but I am pretty happy with the one we choose to attended.

The paintings each come out looking a bit different so it is kind of fun to see them all looking unique. It was really nice to have a night out with my daughter. I think we need to work on having more fun events like this together.

I liked the instructor and we felt very relaxed. The class was a pretty big group with about 25 people but it really didn't feel crowed and it was easy to learn what we needed to while working on the paintings and enjoying our beverages from the bar. Our biggest problem was finding parking which was unexpectedly challenging for a Sunday night.

This may not the best painting I have ever done, but I did learn a few skills about painting and a few tricks about how to run a big art class.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Remembrance Day

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Maple Crumble with Apples

Make this very easy Maple Crumble with Apples

I made this recipe with my grandkids a few weeks ago and I was surprised that anything this easy to make and with so few ingredients could taste so delicious! The taste of the maple syrup and apple just feels like fall to me. I plan on making this at work sometime soon because I am certain the residents will find this to be a really fun dish to cook and they will love eating it.
Time was about 15 minutes preparation and 25 minutes cooking.
4 servings
  • 8-10 graham crackers
  • 4 apples
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • Rolling Pin
  • Zip style bag
  • 1/2 cup measuring cup
  • Peeler for apples
  • Paring Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Oven safe baking dish or several ramekins

1.       Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2.       Roll the Graham crackers until crumbled. (you can do this in a zip style bag.)

3.       Mix the crumbled crackers and butter together thoroughly.

4.       Butter an oven proof dish and place pared, sliced apples in the dish.

5.       Pour Maple syrup over the apples. Top with the crumb mixture.

6.       Bake for 25 minutes.

7.       Delicious with ice-cream or whipped cream.

Click HERE for a printable copy of this idea

Maple Syrup Legend
It’s clear that First Nations people were the first to enjoy maple syrup, but exactly how it was discovered is still uncertain. 
One legend, told by the Abenaki people, explains it like this: 
Long ago, the Creator had given the people everything they needed and more. One gift was the maple tree. All they had to do was break the end off a branch and syrup would flow from it. One day, Gluskabe, a mentor and hero of the people, came upon a village that was in disrepair. When he searched the village, he found that all the people were lying on their backs under a maple tree, syrup dripping into their mouths. He discovered that they had become so lazy from the syrup that they could barely move. Gluskabe reported this to the Creator, and the Creator instructed Gluskabe to fill the maple trees with water to teach the people a lesson. When the people asked where their sweet drink had gone, Gluskabe told them that if they wanted the syrup again they would have to work hard to get it. The sap would flow sweet only once a year before the spring. They would need to make birch bark buckets to collect the sap, gather wood to make a fire and boil the sap into syrup. Every year since then, the people remember Gluskabe’s lesson as they work hard to make maple syrup. 

(Source- Girl Guides. Girls First Program)

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Poppy Craft for Remembrance day

This was an inexpensive simple little project that was quick to put together. I think power of this versatile little art project is that it creates an opportunity to encourage discussion.

  • red tissue paper
  • green tissue paper
  • cut 4-inch squares from white or black Bristol board
  • extra small piece of black Bristol board
  • scissors
  • school glue
  • damp towel


  1. Cut petals from the red tissue paper. You can cut many layers at one time. The petal shape is kind of heart shaped elongated with a slightly narrower bottom. Cut about 15 per flower.
  2. Cut green tissue paper into a long jagged leaf shape. cut w or 3 per flower.
  3. Cut a small circle about 1/2 inch in diameter from the extra black brisol board to be the flower center.
  4. Pass out the 4-inch pieces to be a backing piece.
  5. Put a dollop of glue in the center of the square.
  6. Add 1 to 3 green leaf shapes.
  7. Add petals one by one in a circle around the center, narrow side inward. The crafter will probably need to add a little more glue on the center over the first layer of petals and then place a second layer of petals. The outer edges of the leaves and petals look good loose and do not need to be glued down.
  8. Place the black circle in the center of the flower.
  9. The crafter may need to wipe the glue off their fingers on a damp cloth.

You could add glitter to the flower if desired!
These squares can be used individually, they can be collected as borders, banners, room d├ęcor or the Poppies can be arranged in a circle to form a wreath shape.

Remembrance Day Discussion
1.       How is Remembrance Day being observed in your location this year?

2.       Do your participants have any recollections about Remembrance Day or Armistice Day?

3.       Play some favorite songs that were popular during the War Years. Perhaps have a sing-along.

4.       You could share some pictures of local public memorials that are in honour of those who served or were lost in wars or conflicts.

Click here to download a PDF copy of this idea!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

What is on your Fall Bucket List?

September 21st was the first day of Fall and I was having dreams of crisp weather with me on the porch in a nice cuddly sweater. I live in Winnipeg Canada and guess what? It snowed! It only lasted for a couple hours but it sure was a wake-up call that Winter is just around the corner and we need to enjoy Fall while we can.
I love making plans and goal setting because it encourages me to get more done and to do new, different and interesting things. Since I love all sorts of activities it is not a surprise that the Fall bucket lists that are all over the internet absolutely get my imagination racing.
I needed to make a list of the things that I want to try this Fall.
Why would I need a list? When I look at my own list I can remember to try it and I can prioritize my fun and adventures. A list acts as a reminder of all the fun ideas that caught my eye and it also helps me watch for those opportunities when they present themselves. Perhaps I might even need to budget for it. Once I have made that list I start to see coupons, adds and stories about the different fall experiences.  I can make notes of where I can go to do these things or how to do them at home if I don't already know how. It lets me get all those fun materials, ingredients and resources together too.  I might even be able to convince some friends or family to join me!
I must admit I love checking things off lists.
I use the various lists I have found on Pinterest to make my own.  You can find lists for couples, young families or teenagers. There are personal achievement-based lists. There are silly lists. I see lots of bucket list items that appeal to me, but for some of them I do realize that particular ship has sailed. Hike the Trans Canada Trail is SOOO appealing to me but I am barely managing a hike through Wal-Mart these days. Practicality needs to be a part of my plan. A Fall trip to stay in a Bed and Breakfast in Vermont sounds awesome, as does Octoberfest in Germany but  it is certainly not in my budget for this year or next year. Besides all my vacation time was used up as part of my work absence for the Hip Replacement Surgery and recovery. 

Why these Seasonal Lists useful tools for Recreation Professionals?
Recreation Therapists must plan their month long in advance. We have to try and catch the interests and needs of the individual but we also try and carry out many programs as groups  Seasonal Bucket lists are almost like a shopping list of popular ideas. Now that doesn't mean that we are going to set up a tub for 90-year-olds to go bobbing for apples but perhaps seeing that item on a list might make us think of doing a reminiscence activity. Perhaps we can find some vintage pictures of bobbing for apples or other Party activities. Perhaps we will arrange to have some school children have a party with us. 
These lists are especially good for my Girl Guide unit too. So many of these items are perfect for the girls' outings or activities. We are all about fun and these projects are just what the girls need to make plans, show leadership and allow them to choose what is of interest to them!

My Top 25 Bucket List Ideas
  • I plan on going for a drive in the country
  • Taking fall pictures in the country
  • Visit a corn maze with Girl Guides 
  • Harvest herbs
  • Plant bulbs for spring flowers
  • Sow wildflower seeds
  • Decorate the house with mums  and Fall touches.
  • Crochet an orange scarf
  • Make scarecrow crafts
  • Buy Fall candles
  • Make a Thanksgiving centrepiece
  • Go to a paint night with my daughters
  • Sell Chocolate Mint Cookes with my Girl Guide Unit
  • Leathercraft leaf project
  • Give myself a fall coloured manicure
  • Buy new shirts for fall
  • Pumpkin pies
  • Pumpkin dip
  • Leaf shaped cookies
  • Crockpot apple cider
  • Hot chocolate by the fireplace at the lake
  • Make smores
  • Apple crisp
  • Cook some banana, pumpkin and carrot cake loaves for sharing
  • Purchase a pumpkin spice "something or others" at a coffee shop
I will try and report back about some of these items and we will see how many of these I actually manage to do! Maybe I will take advantage of other fun opportunities that we come across. List are a great framework but spontienaty is where some so the excitement comes from.

Do you have plans for any Fall projects or adventures?

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